“Every time I make a persimmon cocktail, I tell a story about Indiana,” says Stacie Grissom, the cocktail blogger behind the successful site and Instagram Garden Cocktails. She brushes a curly dirty-blonde tendril from her eyes, away from her tortoiseshell glasses and behind a chandelier earring, as she nestles into her vintage smoky blue velvet couch.
Grissom was born and raised in the rural town of Franklin, Indiana, 20 miles south of Indianapolis, which happens to be a place where persimmons grow best, and the bright, sweet, orange fruit always reminds her of home. And Grissom, who is trained as a writer and is currently the director of content for BarkBox, takes every opportunity to tell a story, especially if it’s with a cocktail. Sometimes her cocktail stories are about Indiana; other times they’re about the seasons: She recently made a cocktail flavored with cherry, chocolate, and walnut in time for Valentine’s Day, and January was about starting fresh, with rejuvenating natural flavors like beet and carrot. Other times her cocktails are about absurd contrasts, geographical locations, or local ingredients. “The little persimmons mean a lot to me because it is such a unique thing that you can only get in Indiana, so that’s a different kind of story,” she says.